Just in case you missed last week’s update, Episode 2 of Life is Strange 2 will be releasing in January 2019! We plan to reveal more specifics about the episode in the coming weeks, but wanted to give you an update on how things are looking behind the scenes for the episode.
Episode 2 of Life is Strange 2 has now reached the debug phase! In other words, the content of the episode is complete and the teams working on Episode 2 are now only polishing, optimizing and of course debugging.
During this phase, we rely on our internal and external QA (Quality Assurance) teams even more than usual! These unsung heroes have the huge task of playing the episode over and over in order to observe, track down and accurately describe all the graphical, logic and code (to name a few) issues they may encounter. Their findings hopefully allow the dev team to fix all these issues before the game’s/episode’s release! Some bugs can be very complex to reproduce and need thorough investigations that can last several days, while some sneaky ones can be easily missed and need the testers to be very rigorous even if they have played a scene hundreds of time over…
Thankfully there are always some funny ones you simply cannot miss:
A horror encountered during The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit’s development.
No Lyla, you weren’t meant to be wearing camouflage face paint in this scene, even if we were still in development of Episode 1.
In addition to searching for various functional issues, our testers have to track a lot of other things too: the performance, compatibility with various PC hardware configurations, console manufacturers requirements and many more…
We are very happy with the great work provided by Square Enix’s QA team in Montreal. Many members of this team already worked on the first Life is Strange and are quite familiar with the complexity of testing Episodic games, and their meticulous work is critical for us. With the communication tools we have though, it is quite easy to forget the time difference and distance between our teams!
Square Enix’ QA team
In addition to Montreal’s team we also have a small internal QA team (usually called dev-testers) at DONTNOD, and their presence is invaluable to any dev studio. Their proximity to the rest of the team allows them to test specific features while these are still in development, discuss the details of any issues in-depth and make sure we don’t send broken builds to the big team in Montreal!
Our very own DONTNOD QA team!
A misconception many people have is that QA is an “easy” job. It does in fact take an expert attention to detail and an ironclad commitment to always doing the best job possible without cutting corners. Identifying and then even reproducing certain bugs can take skills of which even the best detectives would be jealous! Not to mention the ability to write reports that explain in the simplest possible terms all the in-game gymnastics you had to jump through in order to trigger a bug or a crash.
The whole Life is Strange team is working very hard at the moment to make sure you have a great Episode 2 ready to play in January, but we wanted to give a special shout out to the QA teams this week!
This will be our final developer update for 2018, as our upcoming news updates will be focusing on delivering you the big news about Episode 2, but we will be back in the new year to provide you with further behind the scenes insights on Episode 2’s road to release and the ramp up to Episode 3 (on which work already began some time ago).
For now though, we want to wish everyone a warm, safe and happy start to the holiday season and hope that you can enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year!
The Life is Strange team
As you know we have kept you updated on what we’re working on for Episode 2 with our developer update blogs. Thanks for tuning in each time and thank you very much for the support you’ve shown us in return. We hope to keep doing these developer updates as we continue to build Life is Strange 2.
Of course, there is a pertinent piece of information that everyone has been asking for since Episode 1 launched: When will Episode 2 be releasing?
The Life is Strange series is a project close to all of our hearts and one for which we do not want to rush development and thereby fail to meet the benchmark of quality and emotional impact that you, our players, deserve. This is why we so far have not announced an official release date - we want to ensure that we will be in a position to release something that we are proud of and that you will enjoy and remember forever.
We understand that there are certain expectations that episodes will be released at a similar cadence as previous Life is Strange games have. The ambition of Life is Strange 2, however, means that the previous frameworks no longer apply if we are to meet the quality of play and storytelling that our vision for a game like this demands and that you deserve.
With this in mind, we can now officially say that Episode 2 will be released in January 2019, but more will be unveiled in mid December, this year. We can’t wait to reveal more about ‘Episode 2: Rules’ to you soon! We’re truly very excited to show you what we’ve been working on and what’s in store for Sean and Daniel.
Thank you again for your ongoing support and patience and we will see you again soon!
The Life is Strange team
Every vote counts at #TheGameAwards!
It’s an incredibly competitive year, but if you feel like #LifeisStrange 2 deserves the awards, you can vote for us for Best Narrative and Games for Impact here.
Thank you for your support! :)